deceptive dehler 38 - Dehler Yachts Italia
AU S T R A L A S I A’ S
L E A D I N G
M A R I N E
L I F E S T Y L E
M AG A ZI N E
Vol. 29 No. 4
Vol. 29 No. 4
Print Post Approval 100008056.
Cruiser with an edge
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Winner of the 2014 European Yacht of
the Year, Performance Cruiser category,
the Dehler 38 is a savvy sports model
that’s also great for touring.
By Crosbie Lorimer
ntimacassar – even if you’re not sure what
it means, it’s still one of those exotic words
that is just plain fun to say. Antimacassars are the
pieces of fabric found on aeroplane or train seat
headrests, originating in the 19th century when it
was fashionable for young men to plaster their hair
with macassar oil.
A quirky historical side note perhaps, but not
exactly something you’d associate with a modern
cruiser racer, you’d think.
Well, the team at Dehler – now part of the
ever-inventive Hanse Group – has an eye for
unusual design features and has added a modern
twist to this historic appendage, providing eyecatching antimacassar-style headrests to the main
lounge seats in the very smart and crisp interior of
the new Dehler 38.
And therein lies the challenge for today’s
production yacht designers. Such is the consistency,
functionality and bang-for-buck output that you get
from the great majority of production boatbuilders
today, that each is pursuing an unending search for
eye-catching and ingenious points of distinction for
their latest offspring.
Not that the headrest details were by any
means the only unusual feature on this yacht;
there is ample evidence of clever thinking both
above and below decks. But more of that later.
For this reviewer, who spent most of his
sailing days racing stripped-out Grand Prix yachts,
the opportunity to test Dehler’s reputation for
designing comfortable yachts that also hold their
own on the race course was made the more
inviting as we were testing the performance
version of the D38 – sporting all-carbon spars, a
longer keel, a performance rudder, North Sails
3Di sails and up-specced Harken winches and
clutches, amongst other racing goodies.
Gratifyingly, I was not disappointed. In a very
gusty winter south-westerly in bright sunshine
on Pittwater, the boat was a delight to sail and
helm as we put the D38 through her paces. The
renowned Jefa steering gear gave a very light
touch and it was not hard to find the groove as
we headed upwind, even in the erratic conditions.
The Dehler 38 pointed well, too, consistently
holding a 28- to 29-degree apparent wind angle
upwind and tracking very comfortably at 7.7 knots
(14.3km/h) boat speed in anything above 13 knots
(24km/h) true wind speed. That boat speed lifted
swiftly to nearly 8.5 knots (15.7km/h) as we eased
… there is ample evidence of clever
thinking both above and below decks.
sheets and reached across the bay – speeds that
should readily reach 9.5 knots (17.6km/h) under
spinnaker according to the velocity prediction
charts published by Dehler.
Antimacassars at the ready
… a curved theme is evident
throughout the interior,
including a bank of curved
storage cabinets behind the
lounge and galley.
The cockpit is well set-up for racing with all
halyards ducted to clutches at the companionway,
with self-tailing winches for headsail and mainsail
trimming lying easily to hand for crew and
helmsman. The cruising version is specifically set
up to allow two crew to sail the D38 with ease,
while also offering an aft bathing platform.
Team Windcraft, the Australian importer for
the Hanse Group yachts, does a good deal of its
own custom fitout, before or after commissioning,
to suit particular customer needs and preferences.
One such neat touch, evident in the cockpit of
the boat we sailed, was the mainsail trimming from
the traveller recessed in the cockpit floor. The
standard traveller adjustment cleats to the cockpit
side bulkhead, but Windcraft has added a clam
cleat at the base of the mainsheet attachment to
the traveller, allowing the mainsail trimmer much
more control when constantly trimming upwind.
There’s real value for money in this performance
version, too, as Team Windcraft’s Managing
Director Peter Hrones attested: “I was quite
surprised at the price of the carbon spars; it was
almost comparable to some aluminium rig packages,”
said Hrones. “Our rigger also said he was impressed
by the accuracy of the fittings when he set up the
mast and spars,” added Hrones, referring to the
all-carbon package supplied to Dehler by Pauger
Carbon Composites, a Hungarian company that
makes spars for race yachts. Its carbon-covered
multiple purchase vang also looked very snappy.
Below decks, the design is sophisticated and
practical, with a teak finish and grey soft-furnishing
option on this boat looking particularly good
under the integrated LED lighting.
The galley layout offers all the basic
requirements for a short cruise or offshore race,
including double sink, top- and side-entry fridge,
gimballed stove, and ample drawer space.
The double fold-out lounge table features
high fiddles and the usual wine bottle holder, and
also a natty pull-out ‘drinks cabinet’ on its aft
end. Storage is generous and readily accessible
throughout, with Dehler sensibly offering pull-out
drawers under lounge seats.
… the boat was a delight to sail and helm
as we put the D38 through her paces.
On the port side, a small navigation table can
be converted to additional seating for the lounge
table (and an extra berth) by sliding the table aft
and relocating the cushion, allowing eight people
to be seated at the lounge table.
And supporting those removable
antimacassars is another smart feature: a
continuous bank of curved storage cabinets with
gas strut hinged doors, sitting above and behind
the lounge seats and galley.
Curved cabinets, bulkheads and rounded
fiddles are features of this yacht that distinguish
it from its more rectilinear cousins in the Hanse
range, features that lose nothing in style and yet
arguably offer more comfort and safety when
below, particularly when underway.
Perhaps the smartest design element below
is the two-way door that can either close off the
shower and head from the adjoining washbasin
area and main cabin or act as the door to the
(optional) port aft cabin with the shower and
head as an en suite.
The master cabin forward is comfortable and
practical, if fairly basic in layout, while the location
of the 315lt water tank under the berth frees up
headroom in the main saloon, but precludes the
usual storage here and would also raise some
questions about optimal displacement.
The standard package offers one aft cabin
on the starboard side and a large storage space
accessible from the cockpit locker to port, with
the option of a compact second aft cabin on the
port side. That was a comfortable and light space
in the boat we sailed, if not exactly the ‘bedroom’
described in Dehler’s brochure.
But then again, the marketing parlance in
most yacht brochures these days dispenses with
maritime terms such as galley, lounge and heads
and, like Dehler, opts for the loft-apartment lingo
of sofa, bathroom and pantry.
Strangely though, the D38 brochure modestly
describes those unusual headrests as ‘removable
cushions’. Perhaps antimacassar is just one step
too exotic! ¿
SPECIFICATIONS: DEHLER 38
Total sail area:
above waterline: competition
2 standard (with option for 3)
4 standard (with option for 6)
Volvo D130 20.3kW/27hp
Price as tested:
Judel/Vrolijk & Co.
For more information, contact: Team Windcraft,
tel: (02) 9979 1709. Web: WindcraftDehler.com
Subscribers please note: For additional content
or video footage go to: clubmarine.com.au.